When you think of soup and broccoli, your mind probably goes straight to Broccoli Cheddar, but that’s definitely NOT where the world of broccoli soup begins and ends. This Italian Broccoli Soup is a great way to broaden your soup horizons. Much more broccoli forward than some of its cousins, it’s a simple, rustic, and satisfying soup that’s easy to make and even easier to enjoy. (Particularly if you’re a brassica lover!)
Believe it or not, you only need a handful of ingredients for this. The main ones are broccoli and orzo, which — if you’re not familiar — is a small almost rice-shaped pasta. You’ll need two broccoli heads for this, which you simply chop up and then boil in chicken broth with some garlic. I love that it’s significantly easier than other soups in that there’s no sautéing step. (No onions to chop, sauté, etc.)
You’ll simmer that broccoli for a good long while, until it’s very tender, and then you’ll smash it into small pieces with a wooden spoon or maybe a potato masher. You could even use an immersion blender, but I like the soup to have some texture, so I wouldn’t recommend blending it until it’s completely pureed.
The orzo goes in next, along with a little red pepper flake for the tiniest bit of a kick, and it has to simmer just until the orzo is tender. Parsley and parm are the final flourishes to this simple soup, but really it’s all about letting that broccoli shine along with the carby comfort of orzo.
Italian Broccoli Soup
10m prep time
45m cook time
- 2 medium heads broccoli, chopped (about 1 lb)
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3/4 cup orzo pasta
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
- 1/4 cup fresh Parsley, minced
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Regianno cheese, freshly grated, plus for more serving
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine the broccoli, broth, and garlic. Season with salt, then bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer 30 minutes.
- Once broccoli is very tender, smash broccoli into fine pieces with a wooden spoon or potato masher. You can also use an immersion blender, but leave chunky, don't puree completely.
- Add orzo and red pepper flake and simmer, uncovered, until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in parsley, parmesan, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with more parmesan, if desired. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Mantitlement.